We have had the most amazing crop of pears this autumn. The tree was absolutely laden, so much so that we lost quite a few when a branch snapped and took out the one below it as well. There was no wind at the time, it was purely the weight of the fruit. The neighbours heard a crack, looked up, and saw the gash where the branch had torn away.
Even with this loss, we still have more pears than we can manage and Iíve been giving them away to as many people as possible. They take a while to fully ripen but I prefer them when theyíre still crunchy anyway.
We have just gotten a dehydrator so Iím trying to process as many as I can that way. They come out really nice, quite sweet even though the fruit isnít sweet when eaten fresh.
Snow brings apple and pear bounty
The apple tree has also had a good season. Apparently the large crops are due to the snow we had in June with the whole district having a particularly good year.
Once again, I took most of the grapes off the vine when they first appeared to give the vine time to establish. The fruit I did leave was really nice and we should be able to leave quite a lot more fruit on next year.
Potatoes in tyres
My main crop potatoes in the tyres did better in their sunnier spot but needed to have more manure and pea straw piled on them to make the most of the tyre system - so although the crop wasnít bad it wasnít quite as large as I had hoped for.
We ended up with a few pumpkins and some courgettes from plants which had self seeded and the few eating corn we had were really nice. I also got quite a few cobs off the popping corn which are now drying. Last year they went mouldy so I am being careful to dry them well before storing them. They are worth growing just for decoration as their deep burgundy colour is quite striking.
Tomatoes make it through
We had a very mild autumn, far more like the summer we didnít get, so the tomatoes have had extra time to ripen and the ones in the glasshouse are providing enough for our needs, including some yellow cherry tomatoes which are so good for salads.
I planted mizuna, lettuce and carrot seed in late March - later than I had planned but the lettuce and mizuna have grown quite quickly thanks to the nice weather and are now available for salads. I also planted broccoli, pak choi, silver beet and lettuce seedlings for winter, and early spring greens. It was a bit late for these too, but they are going fairly well. Broad beans planted from seed are looking good too.
The garden really has had to look after itself this year. With a new baby who sleeps little during the day, house renovations and all sorts of other things going on I have struggled to find the time I would like to give to the garden. It has performed admirably under the circumstances.
You know having your own vegetable garden is so worth the time and energy it takes when your three year old is asked where carrots comes from and answers Ďmummyís gardení.